This is a review of Xellent vodka from Switzerland. I sampled it in Germany in 2014. It’s clear, 40% alcohol, and I thought it was about as good as it was expensive.
Everyone makes vodka, and so do the Swiss. This one is called Xellent vodka, and it’s apparently made from the water of a glacier near the city of Lucerne. Now that’s going to cost you.
The site xellent.com looked as well-designed as it was minimalistic. You could scroll down and read everything in a few minutes:
[from xellent.com on March 28th 2022]
I learned about the glacier water. About the quality of the rye. About how everything was made by hand.
I also found an ad on YouTube:
It talked about how the Swiss were pretty much excellent at doing stuff, and about how this was “the first Swiss-made vodka” made for those “who insist on excellence”.
It was a bit goofy, but I learned the most amazing thing: Xellent vodka is really pronounced like “ksellent”.
Writing this blog has made me understand that vodka marketing is only partly about taste. At least equally important is the brand image, the story that a vodka tells. Brands try to make their customers believe that they’re somehow buying into a lifestyle. Some brands are leaning towards a more traditional approach (like Green Mark), while others cater to the party crowd (like Three Sixty)
Xellent vodka seems to be going the way of Kauffman or Bavarka: it’s unapologetically top-shelf. But unlike some of the other luxury brands like Stolichnaya Elit, it’s not part of a product line that offers different price levels. It stands on its own, and it’s very expensive (34€/700ml).
Xellent vodka is sweeeet
So about our review of Xellent vodka: it turned out to be one of the sweetest vodkas I had ever tried. I actually thought it was even sweeter than Cîroc or Bavarka had been. And it was smooth, too. I drank it at room temperature, and it went down like a glacier – smooth and cool, no struggle, just pure high quality goodness.
The aftertaste was close to perfect as well. There was a hint of caramel in it that came out in the aroma.
I thought the bottle design was nice: it invoked images of a classic cocktail shaker.
Overall this is a very very good vodka. If you can afford it.